Photo Courtesy Of Paddy-Hagelthorn.com
I first wrote about this a few weeks ago before coming back to BoardingArea.com, but seeing how many new people have discovered ‘LHFlyer’ I thought to revisit what amounts to being a great business class fare opportunity.
In late February we began the process of booking our Safari trip to South Africa for later this year and part of that was to take care of the Airline tickets. I was expecting to have quite a bit of ‘sticker shock’, but what I found was actually a pleasant surprise.
Lufthansa (and a few Star Alliance partners) are offering fares between US gateways and Johannesburg for as low as $5030, which in some cases can be $2000-3000 less than competitor prices. The $5000 fares are widely available from most USA gateways but there is one catch. In order to get this low pricing you must book your ticket to originate and return to a gateway city. If you add a domestic connection, your fare may blossom by over $2000! For example when I booked our tickets, Chicago to Johannesburg via Frankfurt, I wound up paying $5030 per ticket. Had I booked the trip from our home airport, GRR, the fare would scoot up to $7500 per passenger.
Sometimes to take advantage of the best deals you need to be flexible in your travel planning and in our case a minor adjustment saved us thousands. To resolve getting to ORD, I can simply book a couple of round trip tickets for a $400-500 or just redeem some miles to get to and from ORD. I went with the miles option in this case. Renting a car is of course an option but the thought of driving 3 hours after spending 25 hours in transit just sounded like a terrible idea.
Another nice aspect to this fare deal is that the tickets book to ‘Z’ Class which is referred to as ‘Discount Business’ which typically credit 150% of miles flown towards elite status qualification for most Frequent Flyer Programs. I say that this is a nice touch because there is a ‘Deep Discount Business Fare’ known as ‘P’ fares, which would only credit 100% of miles flown. So in this case, both the fare and miles earned are attractive propositions. Make sure you refer to your Frequent Flyer Program to confirm the amount of miles you would earn since there may be minor variances.
Additionally, these fares are flexible to the point that you can build in a stopover for a day in Frankfurt in either direction and the fare remains the same in most cases.
The fares are widely available throughout most of the year except between June and August where limited options exist at these price-points. However from September onward, it’s wide open.
If you are considering booking this fare (or any other), make sure to get Lufthansa’s voucher that will reduce your ticket by $50. The voucher offer ends on April 3 and is valid for travel booked for late April through mid May.